Supporting your local businesses in COVID-19

11th May 2020 in Food & Drink, Guide, Health & Fitness
Small businesses in your neighbourhood are struggling to survive.

As the lockdown laws slowly are relaxed, the aftershocks are still being felt by independent businesses across Berlin.  To stoke some of the entrepreneurial spirit normally keeping our local kiez buzzing (and our bellies and livers hard at work), we decided to treat our relocation manager Emi to a day of delights using COVID-19 replacement services.

Here’s her diary of the day.

Start your day with a fresh pressed juice from BTTR (8:45am)

As I was still laying in bed sipping on my morning coffee the doorbell rang. My first delivery was here! I was delighted it was fresh juices, shots and “Mylk” from Kreuzberg based store BTTR.

Fresh pressed juices and shots from BTTR

BTTR has become a bit of an obsession of mine during this lockdown. Their cold pressed juices and various Mylk’s are created with a biohacking mentality, drawing as much from the latest science from Californian nutritionists as ancient Eastern medicine.

But could the whole day be just about fitness and health?

Cruelty free haircare products from wallacewallace (9:30am)

Cleansed and alert from juices, I sprang to action like a lightning bolt as the doorbell rang again. I opened the door dazzling the bike courier with a glittering smile that he was obviously unprepared for at this time in the morning.  He responded by solemnly handing me an old rolled up paper Edeka bag.

Cruelty free hair products from wallacewallace

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up the bag to find amazing cruelty free Kevin Murphy hair products. There is only one hairdresser that sells these products and that is wallacewallace.

Seconds later my phone rang and it was a facetime call from the salon’s founder Justin, who declared that he was going to guide me on a home hair treatment journey. After a brief exchange of affirmations on each other’s inner and outer beauty, he guided me on how to treat my hair at home and gave me a few tips and tricks I could do at home.

Justin gives me a tutorial on properly treating my hair.

I am not sure if it was Justin who felt my desperation or if Ina had seen the need for some tender loving care for my hair but this came like a gift from heaven.  Of course I finished up looking like Princess Angel, and proceeded to vogue around my apartment.  The dog looked somewhat concerned.

Stay safe with a locally made facemask from Katies Blue Cat Cafe (11:00)

I was given the task of sourcing a face mask which during this pandemic is not easy as they seem to sell out everywhere. I was already thinking about making one myself, and had seen someone ensemble one from an old bra and figured this may be my last resource.

While I was panicking about the thought of wearing a bra on my face, I popped out to grab a coffee, and there it was, a face mask!

Katies Blue Cat cafe is selling waterproof face masks.

Katies Blue Cat cafe does not only sell delicious cakes and coffee but also cotton face masks. Plus they are running a delivery service for their wonderful cookies and shortbreads. Suddenly this task involved coffee and cookies and became much more appealing.

DIY boozy brunch from Geist im Glass (13:00)

All that looking and feeling good was making me hungry.  Time for another delivery! It was brunch time from Lenaustraße based bar/restaurant Geist im Glass.

Sampler brunch from Geist Im Glas

I got a nice sampler brunch of all their favourites and what seemed to be a bottomless bloody mary.  The preparation really couldn’t have been better.  As the hard work is all done for you and neatly packaged, so that your feast just needs to be heated up and decanted, giving both the satisfaction of eating and false pride of having prepared the meal.

Their bloody mary bladder is generous to say the least.

I took my sweet time scoffing all the samplers and squeezed the final drops from the bottom of the bloody mary bucket.

Oh gosh I’m still drunk and it’s time for Hotpod Yoga (18:20)

As I was still trying to recover from my afternoon bloody mary buzz, my email notification went off and it was time for a yoga class from the lovely ladies from Hotpod. Before the lockdown, I would attend hotpod once or twice a week, as I found it a good way not only to sweat out my weekends sins of over indulging, but the soothing beats in a warm sweaty pod somehow gave me a shot of nostalgia for my raving days. 

Yoga a la Zoom.

The class was conducted over zoom and they sent you a playlist to listen to during the class. I did catch myself a few times moving along to the music more than the class. This may have still been the bloody mary’s in my system, and I definitely did doze off for a while during the savasana.

Yoga is more fun with a friend.

Wine for dinner? (19:45)

I had not even had time to peel myself off my yoga mat until it was time for the next task ! Here I was thinking it must be food but it was the next best thing – Wine. And not just any wine, but some of my favourite wines from Palsta, my favourite little Scandinavian hideout in Schillerkiez. 

Update: Very sadly since writing this article Palsta has decided to close its doors permanently.. Viivi and her team had built a beautiful concept of scandinavian food and some of the best natural wines. Despite being one of the most loved small restaurants in Berlin, it goes to show how serious the struggles faced particularly by bricks and mortar businesses are right now. This again shows the importance of us supporting small local businesses during this crisis in any way possible. 

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It has been an amazing journey, not even 2 years and so much sooner than we thought, our doors at Oderstrße 52 are staying permanently closed. Last winter was hard for us and we were really looking forward of a busy summer but unfortunately with these current conditions and an uncertain future of the whole industry , this is the only sustainable choice for Palsta. The amazing people in the industry and the whole community here in Berlin and over borders has shown us such support, warmth and companionship through our journey from beginning until the end, it will stay in my heart forever. To our customers : A restaurant has to earn its existence every day and our customers really made it worthwhile. Many thanks to all of our guests, I think we had the best ones and we had such memorable times with you. But of course the people I’m most grateful for are the people who made Palsta so special: Filip, Hannah, Maja, Charles, Luca, Parwiz, Patricia, Antoine, Linda, Marty, Matt, Markku, Ossi, German, and so many other strong professionals who were with us along the way. I thought I was lucky when I had my dream come true, the chance to open my own restaurant but to find people who make your place even better than you dreamed – not many people get to say that. It has been a pleasure, a privilege and an honour having you in my team. So this is goodbye. Do you remember what Palsta means? It means a piece of land, a city garden, a place where you can grow something. I will now take with me all the things that we grew here, put them in a secret place in my head and take them out when the time is right again. Rakkaudella, Viivi #thankyouandgoodbye #lovealways #palsta #neukölln #Schillerkiez #oderstraße #tempelhof

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I had to obviously ‘taste’ the wines, it would only have been rude not to. But for this I needed some entertainment. I knew my friends Kenneth Scott & Noah Pred were doing a live stream dj set from home, so there was my entertainment sorted.

Wines from Palsta and living room DJ set live with Kenneth Scott and Noah Pred

There was no shame in dancing around in my yoga pants with a glass of wine, this is what quarantining is really about it in the end.

Locally sourced Israeli food at Shishi in Kreuzberg

20th February 2019 in Food & Drink, Guide

Set amongst the rubble of Kreuzberg’s Ritterstrasse is a mediterranean oasis of healthy, sustainable and most importantly delicious food and drink.

The younger sister of the Tel Aviv kitchen Yafo, Shishi serves a variety of Israeli, middle-eastern and mediterranean dishes, with a unique charm and that high standard of service so rare to find in Berlin.

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